Spectacular Winning Images of The 2022 Mangrove Photography Awards
Young mangrove photographer of the year – winner. Healthy Ecosystem by Fakhrizal Setiawan, Indonesia
From a close-up crocodile to a crab fishing in a cave and a lizard navigating plastic waste, here is a look at the winning images, runners-up and some commended entries in the Mangrove Photography Awards, run by the Mangrove Action Project.
Mangroves and wildlife – winner. Take off by Jayakumar MN, UAE
A greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) takes off on a migration journey across Asia, and will most likely return to the same coastal wetlands in the winter months. “It was feeding with its head in the water, before flying off into the morning light.”
Mangroves and underwater – winner. Blue Crab by Martin Broen, Mexico
The mysteries of a rarely seen natural environment. A blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) fishing in a unique transition between fresh and salt water in the Mexican cenotes. “During an exploration dive through the dark, flooded caves, I came across this proudly standing crab silhouetted against the mangrove roots above.”
Mangroves and landscape – winner. Walakiri Dancing Trees by Loïc Dupuis, Indonesia
The sun rises along the peaceful beaches of East Sumba in Indonesia. “I wanted to capture the beauty and fragility of this unique wonder. We need to protect and visit places like this with great care, so future generations can also enjoy them.”
Mangroves and humans – winner. Honey Hunters by Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, Bangladesh
Traditional honey collectors break a honeycomb to get honey in Sundarbans, a Unesco world heritage site and a wildlife sanctuary in Bangladesh. As they move about in search of beehives in the wild, honey collectors run the risk of meeting a deadly foe, the royal Bengal tiger. Recent human development in the area and the climate crisis, in particular the rise in sea levels, are threatening the ecology of the Sundarbans and with it, the way of life of the Moulis people.
Mangroves and conservation – winner. New Normal by Kei Miyamoto, Indonesia
A water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) struggles along the plastic-filled forest floor foraging for food. “More and more plastic fills our mangrove forests and it’s affecting our wildlife that call it home.”
Guardian of the mangroves – overall winner. Tanya Houppermans, Cuba
A curious American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) swims up to the photographer at Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina), an archipelago off the coast of Cuba. It has been strictly protected since 1996 and is one of the most untouched marine ecosystems in the world. “The healthy population of American crocodiles is down to the pristine condition of the mangroves and I wanted to capture close-ups of this gentle giant in its natural habitat. I hope this image can illustrate that protecting areas like this is so critical.”
Mangroves and wildlife – highly commended. Living Fossil by Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar, Mexico
An Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) in the mangroves of Ria Lagartos nature reserve, Yucatán. Females can lay up to 20,000 eggs in one night playing an important role in providing nutrient-rich eggs to migratory birds.
Mangroves and landscape – highly commended. Humedal Amarillo by Humberto Bahena Basave, Mexico
Coastal lagoons, islands, and extensive mangrove swamps are found in the Chetumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Mangroves and underwater – highly commended. French Grunts by Lorenzo Mittiga, Netherlands Antilles
A school of juvenile french grunts (Haemulon flavolineatum) using the roots of the mangroves as a nursery before moving on to the reefs of the Caribbean islands.
Mangroves and humans – highly commended. There is Hope in the Trash by Rodrigo Silva Campanario, Brazil
A fisher, Paulo Silva, collects waste from the mangroves in the Bay of Guanabara. The NGO Guardians of the Sea has helped to clear more than 11 tons of rubbish from these coastal forests.
Mangroves and conservation – highly commended. Desert of Life by Miguel Diaz Perez, Mexico
Devastation of mangroves from above. Once full of life, the mangroves of the Yucatán in Mexico were destroyed by a passing hurricane.
Mangroves and wildlife – highly commended. Foraging Bottlenose Dolphins by Mark Ian Cook, US
A pod of bottlenose dolphins forage in the mangrove-lined creeks of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades, Florida.
Mangroves and underwater – highly commended. An Underwater Forest by Marelo Johan Ogata, Indonesia
The light, angles and shapes of a mangrove forest underwater.
Mangroves and humans – highly commended. Livelihood by Rajesh Dhar, India
A fisher casts his net in the River Matla in Canning during low tide. About 600,000 people are dependent in various ways on the Sundarbans’ resources, such as fish, crabs, honey, and nipa palm, or golpata (Nypa fruticans), for their livelihood.
Mangroves and underwater – highly commended. Different Perspective by Hamid Rad, Indonesia
A little world of its own. A lonely mangrove tree growing in the shallow waters of a lagoon in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Corals growing around can be seen in the reflection (green area).
Mangroves and landscape – highly commended. Tree of Life by Amar Habeeb, UAE
Most of the mangroves found along UAE’s coastline, are found in Abu Dhabi, acting as a “green lung” for the city. Patterns resembling a tree-like structure was spotted in the mangroves.